The push-up is a great exercise that works your chest, back, core, shoulders and triceps.  They’re also completely excuse free, because you can do them anytime, anywhere.

Perfect form is the absolute key to getting the most out of your push-ups, and to not getting injured. To protect your back, tighten your abs throughout and do not let your bottom sag or poke up. Also, always remember to inhale as you go down and exhale on your way up.

Here are four great push-up variations you can incorporate into your workout to mix up your routine and add some fun. Pick one or two of these every other day each week, and try to do two sets of 8-12 reps. We took our kids’ recent soccer tournament as an opportunity to hit the grass and knock these out. Honestly, you can do them anywhere!

1. T Push-ups 

Start with your hands spread just beyond shoulder-width apart, and your feet spread hip-width apart. Bring your body down, then up, as you would with a standard push-up. After you come up, rotate your body, bringing your right arm skyward, pivoting your toes and lowering your heels to the ground, twisting your body to form a T.  Rotate back down, perform another push-up and repeat the T-twist on the other side.

push up

8 Ways to Work Out While Nursing an Injury

Sometimes skipping a workout because of an injury sounds like a good idea. You don’t want to hurt yourself further, right?

But by not working out, you actually could be doing your body more harm than good. Staying in shape will help you bounce back more quickly from an injury. And there are lots of ways you can safely get your fitness on while taking care of what hurts. I’ve put together a list of handy exercises and moves you can use when you’re nursing an injury. Use this short guide to stay active — and motivated!

Bircher Museli

Want to give your metabolism a boost in the morning? Go big on breakfast. Research has shown that mom was right: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and should be your biggest one!

Here’s why. According to some studies, breakfast skippers tend to weigh more than those who start the day with a meal. Eating breakfast can help you lower your cholesterol levels, increase your ability to concentrate (my kids eat breakfast because they need all the help they can get in this category!) and can put you in a better mood. No one likes a hangry coworker. Help them out: Come in happy!

Lastly, eating breakfast allows you to incorporate wonderful foods that you may not be able to hit up later in the day, like fiber-rich oatmeal and protein-packed eggs. I like to plan my meals this way: I eat like a “king” at breakfast, with a full plate heavy on lean proteins and fiber; a “queen” at lunch, when I try to go for a lighter meal; and save my smallest meal for dinner. Eating breakfast high in nutrients gets my metabolism started early and fuels me all day long. That way, when dinnertime rolls around, I don’t feel the need to fill up on a bunch of heavy foods before bed.

I’ve included four great breakfast recipes below: My go-to breakfast on a busy workday, my favorite way to make eggs, and two recipes from my longtime client, Carrie Underwood. Carrie is a vegan, so eggs are off the table. But she still finds delicious ways to incorporate fiber and protein into her first meal of the day. Find out how below.



Incorporating a simple piece of equipment into your workout adds fun to your sessions and increases the level of difficulty. The piece that I love most is a Bosu ball. It’s easy to use and helps build stability, something everyone — everyone! — should work on.

Sometimes when people lift weights that work one particular muscle group, they use other body parts to make the movement work. An example would be doing a curl and leaning backward to get the weight up. If you were to do that while standing on a Bosu, you would fall off. Having to balance while weight training forces you to use your muscles without cheating, helps you pick the right amount of weight to lift so that you don’t get hurt — and helps you burn more calories. By firing all those muscles from the soles of your feet through your shins, calves, hip stabilizers and abs, you’re working harder than you would lifting weights alone.

Here are six awesome moves you can do on a Bosu ball to rev up your workouts:

1. Single Leg Squats
Rotate your hips backward to maintain form, then bend at the knee. Keep your
chest up and your eyes focused in front of you for balance. Push through the heel of your foot as you stand, then repeat the maneuver. Weight is optional in this exercise, but if you want to add it, place the dumbbell in the hand opposite the foot you are squatting on.

single leg squat

There are quite a few dogs out there that have put on the pounds through the winter, along with their owners! If you have found that Fido is looking a little portly this spring, do yourself and your dog a  favor and go work out together.  Walk down to a local park and very kindly ask the children there to let you in on the fun around the jungle gym.  There are quite a few things you can do to help yourself without using weights and it will get you, your pet and possibly your children, spouse, and neighbors getting active and having fun.

Have your pets watch your form, and tighten that core!

Sumo squats on your tippy toes.  Go down to where we are in this photo and do little pulses:

Oprea Personal Fitness
(Oprea Personal Fitness)


Family time is important and so is your fitness. Combining both is a great way to stay active and fit and to develop fun, lasting relationships with the people you love. So sometimes skipping that hour at the gym for two hours with your kids, spouse, or hot new flame will more than make up for the lost time in a structured workout.